S v Madzokere and Others [2011] ZWHHC 154

"The release of an accused person on bail is aimed at enabling him to attend trial from out of custody. It does not mean he or she has no case to answer. On the other hand the detention of an accused in custody is to secure his or her attendance to stand trial, if there are genuine grounds for believing that the factors mentioned in section 117 (2) have been established against him. That is why the seriousness of the charge the accused is facing is not on its own enough to deny an accused person bail. The court must therefore endevour to strike a balance between the interests of justice, and the accused’s liberty. Section 117 (1) leans in favour of the liberty of the accused person, hence the use of the words, “shall be entitled to be released on bail at any time after he or she has appeared in court on a charge and before sentence is imposed, unless the court finds that it is in the interests of justice that he or she should be detained in custody.” The intention of the legislature was obviously to make s 117 consistent with the presumption of the accused’s innocence until proved guilty. That proof or lack of it can only be established at the accused’s trial."

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